Now just to be clear, I am not talking about your spouse or significant other, whom I assume you delight every day! I’m talking about your customers, consumers or clients; the ones whose satisfaction and delight makes your business grow.
An article last year on Forbes Blogs detailed a discussion with Amex EVP of World Service Jim Bush, where he was quoted as saying “we have been taking them (customer service personnel) off the clock and tossing out the old, robotic scripts”.
He also mentioned that “we believe that great service is about what the customer thinks after every interaction”.
Delight or Delete
Did you know that if a customer contacts a service centre and is dissatisfied with the response they get, they are more than twice as likely to not repurchase your product or service as someone who had a complaint but did not contact the care centre? Customers who reach out to a company to complain, become fervent detractors if not satisfied by the response they get.
If they have taken the time to call, you need to do everything possible, not only to respond to their needs, but also to surprise and delight them, by “going the extra mile”, going beyond what they had expected, to solve their problem or answer their query. In this way they then become advocates and will share their experience with friends, family and even strangers over the Internet these days.
A personal example of ABCD Service
At the end of last year, I tested a few companies’ customer care services as I did online purchasing of my Christmas presents. One company’s products were delivered by the post office to the wrong address (an empty house) and when eventually found, the package had been completely ruined by the rain and snow.
I called the company, even though it was not directly their fault; they not only replaced the damaged goods, but sent them by first class post to ensure I got the parcel in time for Christmas. Now that is service ABCD (above and beyond the call of duty!) the story of which I happily shared with everyone over the festive season. You can be sure that I will use their services again and choose them over other suppliers in the future.
What more can you do for your Customers?
I wish more companies would start thinking like Jim Bush and treat every single customer as vital to the success of their business. Whenever a customer contacts you, by whatever medium and for whatever reason, you have a unique chance to engage one-to-one with them on their terms, and to surprise and delight them.
How are your own customer services personnel trained? Do they have a script to which the must adhere and targets of time or cost limitations to respond to each contact?
Here are some ideas on how to improve your Customers’ experience when they reach out to you:
- Start by thanking the customer for having taken the time to call or write
- Listen to everything the customer has to say before responding
- Solve the issue if possible, or say how you are going to get it resolved, by whom and in what timeframe
- Ask if there is anything else that the customer would like to ask or share
- Then and only then may you invite the customer to respond to any questions that you would like to ask, if relevant, but keep it short
For more ideas on how to improve your company’s connection with your customers, check out our website for more ideas: https://www.c3centricity.com/home/engage/
This post was originally published September 27th 2011 on C3Centricity Dimensions